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Thursday, January 17, 2008

House Panel Criticizes CIA Tape Destruction

From washingtonpost.com: The CIA's destruction of videotapes containing harsh interrogations of detainees at secret prisons drew bipartisan criticism from House lawmakers who attended a closed hearing yesterday at which the agency's acting general counsel testified about the matter.

Intelligence committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) said afterward that he remained convinced that the CIA did not meet its obligation to fully inform congressional overseers about the tapes and their destruction. He called the failure "unacceptable."

Reyes said that John A. Rizzo, the CIA's acting general counsel, answered all questions, provided "highly detailed" responses and "walked the committee through the entire matter, dating back to 2002."

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Mich.), the panel's ranking Republican and former chairman, said Rizzo suggested that Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the CIA's head of clandestine services, acted on his own authority in November 2005 when he ordered that the tapes be destroyed. "It appears from what we have seen to date that Rodriguez may not have been following instructions" when he ordered the destruction, Hoekstra said.

"There was a long debate about what should be done, and all indications are that Rodriguez should have halted when he gave the go-ahead," he added. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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